Power Between Power And Oppression

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Power and influence have long been ingrained into the framework of leadership. They are the dynamic duo that have been heavily utilized by all leaders throughout history. Although power is primarily associated with the leader, it’s imperative that we view power as a function of the leader, the follower, and the situation (Hughes et. al, 2009, p. 135) . In the context of leadership, Hughes defines power as the capacity to produce effects on others or the potential to influence others (2009, p.135). There are many examples throughout time that demonstrate the positive and negative influences that power has held over individuals and large groups of people. But where does a leader’s power stem from? The sources of power is an integral part of leadership. This paper will serve to examine the five bases of power as outlined by Raven and French. The primary focus of this paper will be on the development of the five bases of power, the connection between power and oppression, the impact on leadership practice, and the relation to other similar theories.

Raven and French have focused on the use of social power to influence individuals. Through their examination of social power they have identified five critical sources of power that have helped us to create an understanding of the positive and negative effects of influencing by power (Hughes et. al., 2009, p. 142). In “The Bases of Power: Origins and Recent Developments”, Raven discusses the framework for their five
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